POINTS IN PORTUGAL FOR TF SPORT AT PORTIMÃO FOR WEC
An equally challenging and frustrating weekend for the TF Sport and D’station Racing crews at the second round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship. The 8 Hours of Portimão resulted in a P8 finish and a retirement, respectively.
The Japanese entry’s race was cut short, due to contact from the debuting Glickenhaus Hypercar forcing them into retirement.
Tomonobu Fujii flew into the lead from P9 within his opening laps, until a puncture unravelled the Pro’s progress. Once Fujii had re-gained some track position, Satoshi Hoshino took the wheel, only for the Hypercar to strike and the front end damage from the contact, caused the #777 Vantage to overheat. Despite the team's best efforts, the D'station Racing Aston was irreparable within the time remaining in the race.
Keating, Pereira and Fraga scored a P8 finish in the LMGTE Am class after an eventful eight hours. An unfairly called penalty, relating to blue flags whilst #33 was on the way to unlapping itself, along with a penalty from contact with a competitor, hindered the TF Sport trio's result.
Nevertheless, the #33 crew sit third in the LMGTE Am drivers and teams’ standings, with four races remaining.
The team now look ahead to round three of the FIA WEC, at Monza, July 18.
Tom Ferrier, Team Owner - “With weekends like this, we take away as much as we can and we learn from it. We were not alone in the issues with the tyres and that hindered our performance somewhat. I do think some of the penalties were a little harsh, but we accepted them as a team and focused on damage limitation. It’s all about point scoring throughout the season, and we remain well within a shot of the championship with the #33 crew. There is still a long way to go!”
Felipe Fraga, #33 TF Sport Gold driver - “The weekend was really hard for us. I don’t think Portimão is suited to the Aston and we had the extra 20kgs of success ballast, so it was really tough. Even with that, I think we had the pace for a top five finish, but we had so many issues during the race that we had to contend with, including the track limits incidents, the unfair drive-through for the blue flag infringement, plus the contact with Ben, it all added up to two or three positions. At least we learn something from here and we now work towards Monza, which is a track similar to Le Mans, so we will use the next round to prepare to be fast at the 24 Hours of Le Mans!”
Tomonobu Fujii, #777 D’station Racing Gold driver - “We started the WEC Round 2 from P9 and worked our way up to P1 in the first stint. Unfortunately, during the third stint there was a collision that lead to too much overheating and eventually caused damage to the engine. We had to retire in Portimáo, but we’ll be ready for Monza!”